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Yoga For Upper Back Pain | Yoga With Adriene

Hey, everyone. Welcome to Yoga with Adriene.
I am Adriene. Today, we have an awesome sequence for the upper back. I
rarely meet anyone that doesn’t complain about upper back achiness or stiffness,
shoulder pain, craving neck relief. So this is a sequence that you can incorporate
to your daily routine, your daily practice. You can return to it five
days a week, seven days a week. So be sure to favorite the video so you can
return to it easily, because I think this is something that everyone can
benefit from. So let’s get to it, hop on the mat, and let’s learn this upper
back sequence. Okay. So to begin, we’re going to start in
a nice cross-legged position, sukhasana, or the pose of ease here, just
pressing into the sit bones and slowly lengthening up through the spine. I’ll
bring the palms to the knees here, and jumping right in, I’m going to inhale,
loop my shoulders, draw my shoulder blades in together and back, as I
lift my heart. Now, I don’t have to crunch the neck here.
Ouch. Just going to keep it nice and open, but I am actively drawing my shoulder
blades in and together and down, shoulders away from the ears. Take a deep breath in here, long belly, tops
of the thighs draw down. Then on an exhale, I’m going to slowly draw my
chin to my chest, draw my naval back, allow my shoulders to round forward,
kind of get a little booty massage here as I roll through the buttock
and allow the weight of my head to drop over. Now, I’m going to hang here for a couple breaths,
catching the weight of my palms to the knees here and really just breathing,
feeling that upper back stretch, creating a little bit of space here
with each inhale and each exhale. Then rolling back up, I’ll loop the shoulders,
rolling through, pressing into sit bones, again lifting the heart, drawing
the shoulder blades in together and down, and really creating space
between the ears and the tops of the shoulders. Take a deep breath in. Smile.
Relax your jaw. Then send it back down. I like to call this Mr. Burns’ posture here,
but we’ll put a positive spin on it here. Breathe some space into that upper
back. Then inhaling, back up to center, head over heart, heart over pelvis. Okay. Sitting up nice and tall, I’m going
to send my fingertips forward like I’m swimming, crossing them over, swim
around, and then I’m going to interlace my fingertips behind the back. Again, a good marker is to keep the head over
the heart center, the sternum, the sternum over the pelvis. Just
notice whether maybe you tend to sit back like this, which is normal, or maybe
you’re overcompensating and shifting the heart forward. Let’s try to stack
is nice and tall. I’m going to interlace the fingertips, and then I have
a couple options here. If I can . . . We’ll turn to the side here
so you can see. I can bring the palms together. Check that out. If that’s
a little too intense at the moment, I might keep the wrists nice and square,
but I’m actively drawing the shoulders down, away from the ears, shoulder
blades together, kind of wringing it out in the upper back here, getting
rid of that achiness, kind of massaging that area of the body. What will help with that is, of course, taking
a nice, juicy, deep breath in and a nice, soft sigh out. Let’s do one
more deep breath in. Notice my neck is getting a little involved here. It
feels good. Slowly release and palms come back to the thighs. Okay. So now, I’m going to come to an extended
child’s pose for a couple breaths. So I’m going to open the knees nice
and wide. Big toes are going to kiss together here. You can pad these if
you need to here. If this is too much extension, hyperextension in the
knees, you can put a little blanket here between the knees, a little cushion. Then I’m going to sit up nice and tall. Inhale.
Reach the arms up towards the sky, and then exhale. Keep the spaciousness
in the side body as I dive forward into this extended child’s pose. Fingertips are going to reach towards the
front edge of the mat. Palms are going to spread wide. Notice I’m still looking
forward here, drawing my shoulder blades in together and back, shoulders
rotating externally away from the ears. Breathing here, and then slowly
bowing forward, opening up the shoulders, melting the heart to the Earth. Forehead kisses the mat, and the arms don’t
go limp here or lazy. I kind of stay active here, reaching fingertips towards
the front edge, connecting hastabana [SP], that hand/Earth connection. Shoulders are alive as I breathe into the
upper back. Then breathe into the mid-back.
Then send a nice deep breath to the lower
back. Then slowly, when you feel satisfied, drawing a line with the
nose, looking forward, and then using the palms to walk it back up. Okay. So now, we’re going to come to all fours
here, tabletop position. I’m going to walk my right palm in towards the
centerline here and, on an inhale, send my left fingertips all the way
up towards the sky. Now, I’m not going to collapse into this right
shoulder here. No way. I’m going to press up and out of the right palm,
keeping the spaciousness that I’ve built in this little practice all along,
breathing into the upper back here. Maybe the arm goes all the way up. Maybe
it only goes to here. Just seeing where that space is today, taking a
nice deep breath in, and then exhale coming back to center. Left palm replaces the right. Right fingertips
reach up. We’ll just do this side really fast, inhaling. You can move at
your own pace, drawing that shoulder away from the ear, breathing nice,
long, deep breaths, and then exhale back to center. We’re going to do it one more time. This time,
keep the palms a little bit wide. Instead of drawing the right palm into
the center, I’m going to keep it right where it is as I inhale. Open the
left palm up. Take a deep breath This time, I have the needle. I’m going to
take my left fingertips under the bridge of the right arm and come to rest
on the outer edge of my left shoulder. Left ear comes to the Earth, and
I begin to breathe into the upper back here, particularly the left side. For more leverage, I can tent the right fingertips
here, maybe bend that right elbow up to find a little bit more in
that upper back. The toes are going to want to come together. I really don’t
mind that. But if you like, you can just keep a little integrity here
by keeping the tops of the feet pressing into the Earth. For more leverage or for a little bit of a
deeper stretch, you can also add extending the right leg, just kind of using
the right toes here again to press a little bit deeper into the posture.
But I say start here, and then work your way up to here. So being really
mindful in the shoulders here. Let’s come out of the posture. Take a deep
breath in and exhale out, following your breath back to center and planting
the left palm. Again, this time, we’re not walking into the center,
but keeping it nice and open. As I inhale, right fingertips reach up towards
the sky, and then exhale, diving through, right fingertips under the
bridge of the left arm as I come to the outer edge of my shoulder here. Hello. Breathing here, each side will be a little
bit different. I can use my left fingertips here to tent the palms. Bring that
left elbow up. Another option that I sometimes offer students is to come
palms-together here and just kind of gently extending those right fingertips.
That feels nice. Another option to go a little deeper, again,
is to extend the left leg. Curl those toes under, breathing into that
upper body, that upper back. Then following your breath to come out of
the posture, moving nice and slow and mindfully here, and back to all fours. Okay. So now, we’re going to come onto the
belly for a little cobra sequence, gently coming onto the belly, drawing
the palms underneath the shoulders here, and then keeping the feet
just nice and hip-width apart here, pressing into the pelvic bone, looping
the shoulders. The elbows are coming in nice and close to the side body. Go ahead and rest your forehead on the mat.
Then we’re going to move nice and slow here, inhaling and exhaling, pressing
into the pelvic bone, pressing in your foundation, drawing the shoulder
blades in together and down, as we slowly look up. Not a big move
here at first, just a nice gentle thing, and then exhale back down. Forehead
kisses the mat, moving with the breath. Now, whether you rise up on the exhale or
the inhale is totally your choice. I say for a sequence like this that’s
therapeutic and about getting into those dark nooks and crannies, it’s just
about following your breath. You might start to find a little more space.
We’re moving in a nice speed, nice and mindful. Notice lots of space between
the ears and shoulders. Then if you want, from here, you can build
this into upward-facing dog. We’re not going to do that today. But if you
already have a practice and you’re ready, you can begin to take this into
a nice upward-facing dog. When you feel satisfied, you can send it to
a downward-facing dog or just a nice little counter pose here, as we come
into extended child’s pose, swimming the fingertips forward, up and back,
and then resting the forehead. Shoulders melting forward as we
breathe into the back and rest. Okie doke. So that was a yummy sequence for
the upper back. This actually was a request from a viewer. So if you have
other things that you’re craving some relief, or you want some yoga
knowledge or advice on, leave me a comment below. Leave your requests. Questions
always welcome. Subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already, and
I will see you next time. Namaste.

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